Thursday, August 11, 2016
Ukraine Wants Briefing by OSCE, No UN in Consultations, Abkhazia v Minsk
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, August 11 -- Ukraine's Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko requested UN Security Council consultations and got them, midday on August 11. Afterward Inner City Press asked him if he wanted a statement from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon -- there's been none -- and if anyone in the closed door consultations had raised the analogy to 2008 in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Periscope video here.
Yelchenko said when he raised it, Russia's representative Vitaly Churkin had said rather than talk about history, comply with the Minsk Agreements. Tellingly, there was no UN Secretariat briefer in the consultations, despite Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq, who claimed bullying, saying that Ban's Secretariat was ready to brief. If it happens, it will involve the OSCE.
Churkin on his way out of the meeting said there will be no reversal on Crimea, it's done. He did not say Ukraine is trying to re-take Crimea, rather that there is “chaos” in Kiev. Periscope here.
Yelchenko convened a press stakeout on August 10, to read a statement by his foreign minister and say to expect a Security Council meeting at any time about the situation with Russia. He hearkened back to Russia and Abkhazia and South Ossetia during the Olympics eight years ago.
On August 11, Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was dismissive of the comparison and said, Don't engage in terrorism or sabotage. Inner City Press Periscope video here, also on Syria.
Inner City Press at his August 10 stakeout asked Volodymyr Yelchenko what lessons Ukraine takes from those events of 2008, and given the doubts he expressed about Ban Ki-moon, if he had contacted the UN Secretariat. Periscope video here. He mentioned that the UN Department of Political Affairs would be ready to brief.
UN DPA is headed by Jeffrey Feltman, who as revealed yesterday while at the US State Department met about Lebanon with major CGF donor Chagoury - but that's another story.
Yelchenko said to remain alert for a Security Council meeting. For his stakeout, the UN didn't even unlock the glass doors to the stakeout, the access for journalists called “non-resident” as Inner City Press has been since, in retaliation for coverage, Ban and his USG Cristina Gallachevicted the Press. Emerging documentary here.
Click here for coverage of 2008, from the Inner City Press (evicted) vault. Watch this site.
Back on February 10 the International Monetary Fund's Christine Lagarde said:
"I am concerned about Ukraine’s slow progress in improving governance and fighting corruption, and reducing the influence of vested interests in policymaking. Without a substantial new effort to invigorate governance reforms and fight corruption, it is hard to see how the IMF-supported program can continue and be successful. Ukraine risks a return to the pattern of failed economic policies that has plagued its recent history. It is vital that Ukraine's leadership acts now to put the country back on a promising path of reform.”
Hard to see, indeed. But later on Wednesday, Lagarde said:
"I had a constructive discussion with President Petro Poroshenko on issues raised by my press statement this morning.
“The President reassured me of his unwavering commitment to reforms, including improving governance and fighting corruption. We agreed on the principle of a roadmap of actions and priority measures to ensure prompt progress under the program, which will help keep Ukraine on a path toward robust and sustainable growth."